Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bench work

After completing the wall in the shop, DH wanted to get to work on the reloading bench.  After all, the election concludes Tuesday, and he wanted to have something to do  besides watch election returns.

So the paint was barely dry on the wall, before he started working on the construction of the new reloading bench.  This went more smoothly than the wall build, though there were some setbacks.  We found out that using joist hangers just wasn't a great idea.  Call it tolerance stacking errors, or what have you, they just did not give the results we expected.
 The top to the bench was finally completed.  The deck on it is 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood, topped by a 1/4" finish grade plywood sheet. The two  3/4 " pieces were clued and screwed together, and screwed into the supports underneath.  Then the top 1/4" sheet was just glued down.  The picture below is how we ensured the glue adhered evenly, to hold down the top sheet without coming up.  Yes, that is most of our kettlebell collection doing double duty to press the plywood down into the glue.
The bench top was then lag-bolted to the wall, into the studs.  4x4" legs were cut for the front of the bench top, and lag-bolted to the top.  Everything was levelled during this process.  The bench top itself will be stained a light oak color and coated with polyurethane for protection.  The legs, made of pressure treated 4x4"s will be painted (probably white, once they dry fully).  Pressure treated wood seems to be very damp when you first buy it so you don't want to paint it until later or the paint won't take.

And yesterday, after a trip to the Metromess for a orthopedic visit, I wandered over to the ReStore (Habitat for Humanity) to look for cabinets for the shop.  SCORE!  I found a huge stash of nice wall and floor cabinets.  DH only wanted wall mounted ones, so I got two double cabinets.  They were in good shape, and are just what he was looking for.  I also got them at a VERY nice price!

DH mounted the cabinets while I was away this weekend at a conference.  They look great.  And here he is, setting the first piece of peg board!  He has wanted peg board on the walls since before we met.  I had obtained a large quantity of peg board in the spring, for his birthday, and now he finally has a place to use it.

We finished out the bench top last night.  To say the bench is sturdy is somewhat of an understatement.  I think it could almost double as a storm shelter by itself.  But, since the presses to apply quite a lot of force, you don't want a wobbly bench.  Of course, I didn't get to enjoy laminating down the finish-grade plywood last night.  It seems I have picked up some sort of nasty intestinal bug.  I have been in gut-agony for about 18hrs.  Blech!  At least it's not diverticulitis.  I should be happy for small favors...
Late update:   I  am all better now,  and the bench is all done and in use. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Being thankful is something that should not be relegated to a single day each year.   But perhaps today is a good day to list some of those blessings,  to better bring them to mind.

Things I am  thankful for; my husband's good job,  my family's health,  the unexpected joy of chickens,  our friends both old and new,  our home here, and our church family.  I am also thankful the election season is over.

There are many other blessings I have received,  but to be honest, I am tired and well fed, and my brain is short of caffeine today.  So I will just wish you all a very happy  Thanksgiving  .

Friday, November 18, 2016

Why I will not do business with Penzeys Spices any more...

I received this email from the head of Penzeys Spices, a company that I have enjoyed products from for several years.  I am happy he made known his beliefs and feelings about almost half of the voters in this country, so that I could make a more informed decision on where I spend my hard earned dollars.

Here is the relevant portion of the email from Bill Penzey.
Racism Update: At Penzeys we believe it's not the use of tools that set us on a different path from the rest of the animal world; what has set humanity in motion is cooking. In our nearly a million years gathered together around the fire, cooking shaped our bodies and transformed our minds. Cooking unlocked our potential and gave birth to reason, to religion, and to politics and government. The kindness of tens of thousands of generations of cooks created our humanity, but racism, sexism, and homophobia can all very quickly unravel all the goodness cooking puts out into the world. As the voice of cooks, we will never sit idly by while that happens.
You may have read Tuesday Night's email. In it I said:  "The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades. The American people are taking notice. Let's commit to giving the people a better choice. Our kindness really is our strength."
Since I ask you to read my emails, I feel it's only right that I read each of your replies. In sifting through those replies it was clear that, though not intended, a good number of people seemed to sincerely believe that in my statement I was calling all Republicans racists. In the emails of those Republicans who voted for someone other than the party's nominee, I sensed genuine pain at having the strength of character to not go along with what was happening, but nonetheless be grouped in with those who were. I apologize for writing something that caused you pain; that is not the person I want to be. You are your party's future, and you deserve my admiration and respect, and your country's as well.
For the rest of you, you just voted for an openly racist candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. In your defense, most of you did so without thinking of the consequences of your candidate's racism, because for most of you the heartbreaking destruction racism causes has never been anything you or your loved ones have had to experience. But the thing is elections have their consequences. This is no longer sixty years ago. Whether any of us like it or not, for the next four years the 80% of this country who did not just vote for an openly racist candidate are going to treat you like you are the kind of person who would vote for an openly racist candidate.
You can get angry at everyone else for treating you like you just did the thing you just did, or you can take responsibility for your actions and begin to make amends. If you are lucky and younger family members are still coming over for Thanksgiving, before it's too late, take a moment and honestly think about how your actions must look through their eyes. Simply saying "I never thought he'd win" might be enough. But if you have the means, leaving a receipt from a sizable donation to the ACLU or the SPLC accidentally laying around where you carve the turkey, might go over even better.
Or, just do what you do best and volunteer. Through our customers' support, we've given away a lot of our Penzeys Pepper, the Pepper with heart. More often than not, those we meet cooking and serving food to feed those in need are Republicans. You really are a good bunch, but you just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago. Make this right. Take ownership for what you have done and begin the pathway forward.
Thanks for reading,

Here is the reply I emailed to him at the email he included above.

Dear Bill Penzey.
Thank you for your recent letter following the 2016 election.  I am glad you chose to make your opinion of nearly half of the voters in this country known.  Alas, since you believe I am a racist homophobe, I must point out that you in fact voted for the racist candidate, in Hillary Clinton.  She holds up Margaret Sanger as a personal hero, Sanger, who openly embraced eugenics and sought to eliminate those she saw as lesser races.  

Since I believe my political beliefs are incompatible with yours, I will no longer be doing business with Penzeys.  I will not denigrate you for your political beliefs, but I will vote with my pocket book, and take my business elsewhere.

There are other companies selling quality spices.  In fact, there is a competing family business in the Penzey clan, one that does not concern itself publically with politics.  So, if you are disturbed at being called a racist, or other political flashpoint names by someone you have never met, based strictly on how you chose to vote, I urge you to carefully think of how and where you spend your hard earned dollars, because publically denigrating a significant portion of your customer base has consequences too.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happy 241st, Marines!

Wishing ALL United States Marines, past and present, a very blessed 241st birthday!

Thank you all, for your service to our country.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Shop Work

For a long time, DH has wanted a nice shop.  We had one 14 years ago, back in Kansas...but in the Metromess, we just did not have space.  We never were able to even park a car in our garage there!

But now, we have a nice 24'x30' shop.  Back in April, I got DH a gift he has longed for, for decades.  A giant pile of peg board.  You know, those 4x8' sheets of material with all the holes in rows?  You put 'em on walls to hang tools on.  He has always wanted to be able to organize all his tools this way.   So when I saw a pile of peg board for sale, I snagged it.

Well, this past week we started building out the shop, just how he wants it.  It's sort of a learning process, at least in building walls, for both of us.
 One can hide a multitude of carpentry sins with chipboard!  But at least we have learned more, and the next set of walls should be much improved.  We had thought about insulating behind the walls, but it was cost prohibitive, and without insulating the entire shop, it wouldn't make a difference in temperature control.
DH is handy with a screwgun!

Me?  I'm in charge of painting.

Secret messages in the paint.

All painted!

Next up is building the reloading bench. It will be mounted to the wall you see, for stability. This bench will be a huge upgrade for us on space.  Our old bench was approximately 8 sqft.  This new bench will be 22 sqft. It will also serve as a template for the bike work bench, unless we decide to buy a commercial work bench for the bike area.  Where you see the ladder above, will be the bike storage area.  They will hang from brackets we will mount on the wall we have yet to build.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Penny for the Guy...

I remember stories from my Dad of growing up in Liverpool in the '30s, and begging a "Penny for the Guy", on a long-ago today...of the bonfires the neighborhoods built at the end of streets, not to burn down the 'hood, or cause destruction, but to burn the effigy, and roast potatoes wrapped up in foil and placed in the coals.

As long as I can remember, I have known about Nov.5th, at least as it related to English history.  This website, has a good summary of what happened long ago on this day, and what happened to those responsible for the wasn't pretty then, and it isn't pretty now.  But treason never is...

With our own country's elections concluding next week, I know this is a divisive issue.  I only ask that you pray we, as a people, choose thoughtfully and wisely whom we would have lead this country for the next 4 years.

Remember Remember poem

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fungus Among Us

These are growing in the empty lot across from our house.  The way they grow, they remind me of corals, or brains...  Either way, I find them strangely beautiful.